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The Department is a rich and thriving centre for research across the music disciplines. We sustain a dual commitment to cutting-edge, contemporary creative practice in composition and performance and to critically aware scholarship couched in the written and the spoken word. Our work explores the qualities and character of human experience, offering solutions to real-life challenges and adding to the store of human imagination and knowledge. Extending across a wealth of conceptual, geographic, and historical fields and genres, the Department comprises Ireland’s most open-minded, stimulating, diverse and interdisciplinary environment for the study of music.

As creative and critically engaged artists and scholars, we are committed to:

(a)  developing and enriching the contribution that music and the arts makes to the region, to Ireland and internationally, and

(b)  exploring the qualities of human experience to generate solutions to real-life challenges and to add to the store of human knowledge.

To achieve this, we work in, across and between a broad set of disciplines and approaches. These include:

composing, which incorporates devising new music in performance as well as in advance of it, and ranges from writing music on a score to designing software or utilizing other interactive approaches to music production, such as the collection and manipulation of a wide range of pre-existing and newly imagined sounds;

performance – among other areas, our work currently embraces popular music, jazz, Irish traditional music and dance, Western art and church music from the Renaissance to the present day, music for Indonesian gamelan, and several kinds of experimental sound practice;

ethnomusicology, with recognized geographical specializations in music from China, England, Greece, India, Ireland, Indonesia and Taiwan, and theoretical focuses on applied ethnomusicology, archival work, orality/aurality, cognitive ethnomusicology, biography, indigeneity/native ethnomusicology, and music analysis;

music education, which includes studies of in-school and out-of-school teaching and learning in Ireland, music in early childhood, adult learning as part of the music profession in several cultural settings, creative pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning music, and the reshaping of the ways Irish traditional music is taught and acquired in the contemporary state; and

musicology – our research investigates the interplay between the sonic and the social in both historical and contemporary contexts. We focus on music's implications in gender, race, class, and other valences, applying a variety of methodological approaches to artefacts and performativities from Renaissance music to global hip hop; from 19th century parlour songs, to independent film music, to 1970s punk.

Each area is pursued dynamically and with rigour, and strongly underpinned by recent grant awards from funding bodies including the Arts Council of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the European Research Council, the Irish Research Council, the China Education Ministry and Music Generation.

Many staff are leaders in their respective research fields. We work alongside a team of research affiliates and research students, as well as in partnership with colleagues across the university, and we engage with the wider public across the city, region, nation and globe. Collectively, staff enjoy an international reputation for the impact and contribution of their research.


Recent staff research (books, articles, performances, compositions, etc.):

Michelle Finnerty

“Sounds from Within: Exploring the Role of Ethnographic Fieldwork to Elevate Children’s Perspectives and Voices in the Study of Children’s Musical Cultures in Ireland,” in Ilene R. Berson, Michael J. Berson, Collette Grey, eds., Participatory Methodologies to Elevate Children’s Voice and Agency, 383-403. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2019.  further information


John Godfrey

Sonic Books; a series of ’Sonic Books’ comprising footage/recordings of Quiet Music Ensemble taken both at live performances and in the studio. November 2023. Available here

Quiet Music Ensemble, performance at The Studio, National Concert Hall, New Music Dublin festival 23/04/2023. World Premieres: Susan Geaney - Hahnemühle (Susan is a graduate of UCC); Anna Murray - Aioi: leaves laden with words (version with Noh Chant); plus Dublin Premieres of Kathy Hinde - Acts of Balancing and Unbalancing and Karen Power/Mary Nunan/Atoosa Pour Hosseini - we return to ground. With guests Laura Sampson, Noh Chant; Mary Nunan, Dance; Atoosa Pour Hosseini, video.

Quiet Music Ensemble, performance at Roulette Intermedia, New York, 07/07/2022. US Premiere: Karen Power - Sonic Pollinators. Video available here.

Solo performance, Other Minds festival San Francisco, 09/07/2022. US Premieres: works from ‘human nature’, Karen Power. Video available here (performances start at 16’10”).

In the Shadows of Fluxus, a solo performance at Museo Vostell de Malpartida, Cáceres, Spain. Comprised old and new Fluxus works, including several by myself, 20/09/2019


Alexander Khalil

"It Takes Two: Interpersonal Neural Synchrony Is Increased after Musical Interaction in Brain Sciences":


Melanie Marshall (with Martin Iddon), co-editor

Beyoncé at Work, On Screen, and Online. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020.  further information


Eva McMullan-Glossop

“Hues, Tints, Tones, and Shades: Timbre as Colour in the Music of Rebecca Saunders” Contemporary Music Review 36, no. 6 (2018), 488-529.  further information


Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby

“‘twas Tír na nÓg itself’: The Muckross Music Collection: Fieldwork in North Kerry 1980-1990,” Folk Life: Journal of Ethnological Studies 54/2 (2016): 132-161.  further information


Paul O’Donnell

Thin Lines, featuring Paul O’Donnell (piano, composer) with Niwel Tsumbu (guitar, percussion), Matthias Schriefl (trumpet), Nick Roth (sax), Thomas Gall (drums), Peter Erdei (bass). Cork: [CD] PD003. 2017  further information


Lijuan Qian

‘Humanism in Red: A New Mainstream Narrative in the Pop Songs in 1980s China.’ Oxford Handbook of Music in China and the Chinese Diaspora. eds. by Hui Yu and Jonathan Stock, 353-372. Oxford University Press, 2023. Humanism in Red: A New Mainstream Narrative in the Pop Songs of 1980s China | The Oxford Handbook of Music in China and the Chinese Diaspora | Oxford Academic ( 


J. Griffith Rollefson

Rollefson, J. Griffith, Warrick Moses, Jason Ng, Steven Gamble, Patrick Marks, and Ophelia McCabe (members of the ERC CIPHER Team), “Mapping Global Hip Hop Knowledge Flows: The CIPHER Method” Ethnomusicology Vol. 67, No. 3 (Autumn 2023), 430-464. more information here


Jonathan Stock

The Oxford Handbook of Music in China and the Chinese Diaspora (co-editor, chapter author). New York: Oxford, 2023.

The Routledge Companion to Ethics and Research in Ethnomusicology (co-editor, chapter author). New York: Routledge, 2022. 

Everyday Musical Life among the Indigenous Bunun, Taiwan. New York: Routledge, 2021.  further information


Jack Talty

“Duala”, a film-installation commissioned by The Irish Traditional Music Archive and Clare Arts Office, 18 September 2020 (Culture Night, Glór Theatre, Ennis). further information


Jeffrey Weeter

“Interlude for Prepared Piano”. Performed by Amy Williams on 4 November 2018 (Constellation, Chicago), 23 February 2019 (New Music festival, California State University Fullerton), and 21 March 2019 (Bowerbird, Philadelphia).  further information


More information

For more on research across the School of Film, Music and Theatre visit the CARPE page – the Centre for Arts Research and Practice – at



Department of Music

Roinn an Cheoil

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